Injuries have really begun to pile up for the Las Vegas Raiders, especially on defense. The defensive line and secondary have been torn to shreds by injury. Things appear to be getting worse before they get better as the team announced that safety Jeff Heath is headed to the injured reserve.
Heath came to the team as a free agent this offseason after spending seven years with the Dallas Cowboys. He’ll now have to be out for at least three weeks. If he returns, it will be just in time for a potential playoff run. Heath has played well for the Raiders this season. He leads the team with three interceptions and doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. It remains to be seen if the team will try to sign a replacment. They recently brought back Daryl Worley, who has played some safety in the past.
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Jon Gruden Talks Injuries to DBs
Heath’s injury is bad enough on its own but it doesn’t help that Johnathan Abram is banged up, as well. There’s a real possibility that the Raiders go into Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts with just Dallin Leavitt and Erik Harris as their safeties. That’s not exactly inspiring for an already struggling Raiders defense.
Jon Gruden is clearly getting frustrated with all the injuries.
“We’re running out of safeties,” Gruden said Friday. “Hopefully Abram can play and stay healthy. It’s something he hasn’t done. We need him to do that to be the player we need him to be. Dallin Leavitt’s a trained safety. He’ll play back there, and play well if need be. We’ll have a contingency plan. But right now we’re getting tired of contingency plans, to be honest with you.”
All these injuries are coming at the worst possible time for Las Vegas. They are trying to get back into the playoff race and a win over the Colts would seriously help their chances. The Raiders need some players to step up in a big way on Sunday.
Raiders Sign Chris Smith, Promote Vic Beasley
The secondary isn’t the only area where the Raiders are hurting. The defensive line has also had a tough go at it. Maliek Collins just got put on the injured reserve and they released Daniel Ross. The team is going to need some defensive ends to play on the inside due to the lack of defensive tackles on the roster. The team announced on Saturday that they’ve signed Chris Smith to the active roster.
He’s been with the team for most of the season but has been on the practice squad. He’s been promoted to the active roster five times and now it looks like he’ll be seeing his role increase as the season nears its end. Smith has notched one sack on the season.
The team also revealed that Vic Beasley will be on the active roster this week. He made his Raider debut against the Jets last week and has reportedly impressed the team. He’ll get another shot to make an impact in one of the most important games of the season.
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